Yamaha legends in Superkart race

Four riders combine for 16 MotoGP and 500cc titles

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jun. 10, 2009
Yamaha Grand Prix Champions Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts Sr. and Valentino Rossi will compete against each other in a Superkart exhibition race ahead of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.

The four champions have combined for 16 MotoGP and 500cc Grand Prix titles, 12 of them for Yamaha. They will compete against each other for the first time on July 2 on the Monterey, Calif. circuit to kick off the USGP weekend. Monstr Tech 3 Yamaha racer Colin Edwards will serve as grand marshal for the Superkart exhibition.

I dont think weve all ever all been out on the track together,Valentino Rossi, shown riding the Isle of Man TT circuit, will race 3 other Yamaha champions. so thatll be fun, says Rainey. Were doing it for Yamaha, doing it for the fans, doing it for the race track. We plan on putting on a show.

Rainey has raced Superkarts against Lawson and Lawson has raced against Roberts, but none of them has competed against Rossi who won regional kart championships in his native Italy before switching full-time to motorcycles.

I think the karts in America are 250s which are very fast, says Valentino Rossi. I remember the karts in Eastern Creek, Australia made a better lap time than Mick (Doohan) on the 500 280 kph (173 mph) in the straight.

The four champions will race karts powered by Yamaha TZ-250 engines.

Im confident that this will be just one more in a long list of historic events that has taken place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, says Bob Starr, General Manager of National Communications for Yamaha Motor Company, and I urge all motorsports fans to begin their Independence Day celebrations just a little early and join us in this prestigious event.